The Impact of China’s Trade Relations in Africa: The Case of the Republic of Congo

"Trade between Congo and China has registered a considerable increase over the last few years. China, within a period of five years has become Congo’s premier partner in oil and timber exports. Congolese trade with this country has been a key factor in the strong economic growth from 2000 to 2007 that the country has experienced. Imports from China have remained marginal. The traditional suppliers of Congo notably European Union countries, mainly France have maintained their previous positions. As for profits and losses,exports with China have led to profits and losses depending on trade partners to which these exports are destined and also according to the period. With regard to timber, exports to China have provided Congo with a competitive advantage and contributed to the procurement of substantial profits. As far as oil is concerned, Congo has recorded losses since export unit prices of this commodity in China are at a lower level compared to the oil selling price of clients in countries such as the USA, Taiwan and South Korea. From 2006 to 2007, losses went up because the unit price of oil sold in China was lower. If the price was equal or higher than that of other buyers, the export income could have been higher than that obtained."